INTERVIEW: Caddo sheriff candidate John Nickelson discusses use of stop-and-frisk, experience for the job

John Nickleson and Henry Whitehorn face off in a runoff.
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 6:47 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2023 at 9:07 AM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Early voting is happening now for the Nov. 18 runoff election, and two candidates are vying for one of the most powerful law enforcement jobs in the ArkLaTex: Caddo Parish sheriff.

Republican John Nickelson got the most votes in the October primary with 45 percent. Democrat Henry Whitehorn followed with 35 percent. Whitehorn has served as Shreveport chief of police, chief administrative officer and U.S. marshal for the Western District. Nickelson has practiced law for 20 years and previously served on Shreveport City Council.

[RELATED: Caddo sheriff candidate Henry Whitehorn discusses solutions to violent crime, engaging the community]

One of the men will replace Sheriff Steve Prator who has held the office for over 20 years. Nickelson sat down with KSLA News 12 on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to discuss his plans for the city.

“The thing we have got to do in this community involves all stakeholders coming together,” said Nickelson. “Make sure that we investigate, prosecute and appropriately punish violent crime.”

Nickelson made the runoff despite having no law enforcement experience. He said his time as a lawyer and councilman is enough for the job, paired with an endorsement from Sheriff Prator.

“It’s important to understand what the sheriff does,” said Nickelson. “He’s not a patrol deputy. He administers a large organization with more than 600 employees and a $70 million budget and he performs those tasks unilaterally.”

KSLA’s Steven Maxwell asked Nickelson if he is concerned there could be a relatability issue with law enforcement officers.

“You know, I don’t think that there will be because I have spent so many months on the campaign trail talking to hundreds of law enforcement officers and what I’ve heard again and again from them is that they recognized my commitment to law enforcement while I was a member of the city council.”

A big topic of discussion for the candidates is the stop-and-frisk tactic.

“This is an appropriate and absolutely necessary investigatory technique that is used in every jurisdiction all over the country,” said Nickelson. “Of course, I oppose any use of stop-and-frisk or other tactics that are racially discriminatory.”



  • Nickelson’s experience
  • Duties of sheriff
  • Relatability to law enforcement
  • Plans for the position
  • Addressing violent crime
  • Stop-and-frisk tactic